Rachel Gaffney's Letter from Texas

An Illustrated History of the Phoenix Park, Landscape and Management to 1880

The famous foodie who’s flying the tricolour for us in Texas explains why changing holiday patterns for Americans will be good news for Irish tourism

I can tell the season for travel has begun as I am now fielding calls and emails on a regular basis about Ireland. People have a general idea about travel dates, but beyond that, they do not know what they want. This has grown through word of mouth and each and every person has simply requested that I design their itinerary for them.

Only today, I received a phone call from Florida. The lady told me she and her husband wanted to go next year with another couple from Atlanta. They have not travelled to Ireland before and do not have any Irish ancestry. Last year they spent 2 weeks in China.

Last month they were at a friend’s house for dinner in Virginia and the lady was telling them about her experience on the culinary tour I put together in 2015. It was those two words that caught their attention: Ireland and culinary in the same sentence.

By now, anyone who reads my columns may be getting tired of hearing me repeating this, that people are incredulous when it comes to hearing about Ireland and the incredible food. But perhaps Ireland may be one of the last few places on earth with sustainable food systems. I sincerely hope this doesn’t change.

People are requesting country house properties, experiences and guides yet again. (Last month I wrote about my search for authors and guides).

Budget is never discussed initially. Of course, after a period of time, as we delve into the trip we do indeed discuss this but what I am finding is that if the client likes the property and experience offered, then they are willing to pay for it. Quality is what they are looking for. This is a very good sign as they are looking for drivers, experiences, good restaurants, nice hotels and shopping experiences.

When I was living in Ireland and England, I had 21 days of holiday per year and my husband had 26 days. This enabled us, of course, to take 2 week holidays and many more breaks throughout the year. Americans do not get the same amount of vacation days at work. It is certainly very unusual to see someone go for a 2 week vacation unless they were retired, or senior enough to do so. This is why you see Americans trying to visit the entire country in a week.

Now, I am finding this pattern is changing with my clients, and the minimum stay is 8 nights in Ireland - and many are going for 14 nights with extended family. This is a very promising sign and travel seems to be on the rise, or at least it does in my neck of the woods ! Long may this trend continue. 

Rachel Gaffney's Real Ireland


: Rachel Gaffneys Real Ireland
Follow me on Twitter: @Rachelgaffney

Email: Rachel@Rachelgaffneys.com

Watch 'The Irish Kitchen' now on HULU




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